ICC judges approve request to reopen Afghanistan probe

Oct 30, 2022, 7:03 PM | Updated: Oct 31, 2022, 7:07 am
FILE - A view of the exterior view of the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands, o...

FILE - A view of the exterior view of the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands, on March 31, 2021. The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court sought urgent clearance Monday, Oct. 31, 2022 from the court's judges to resume investigations of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Afghanistan, saying that under the country's new Taliban rulers “there is no longer the prospect of genuine and effective domestic investigations” in the country. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong, File)

(AP Photo/Peter Dejong, File)

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Judges have approved a request by the International Criminal Court’s prosecutor to reopen an investigation into war crimes and crimes against humanity in Afghanistan, saying Afghan authorities are not carrying out meaningful probes into the alleged crimes.

The court announced the decision Monday, saying that authorities in Kabul have not established that “Afghanistan has investigated, or was investigating, in a manner that covers the full scope of the Prosecutor’s intended investigations and that would justify even a partial deferral of the court’s investigations.”

The decision comes just over a year after Prosecutor Karim Khan announced that he wanted to resume an ICC probe in Afghanistan because under the country’s new Taliban rulers there was “no longer the prospect of genuine and effective domestic investigations” in the country.

Judges at the global court authorized an investigation by Khan’s predecessor, Fatou Bensouda, in 2020 covering offenses allegedly committed by Afghan government forces, the Taliban, American troops and U.S. foreign intelligence operatives dating back to 2002. The United States are not a member of the court and do not recognize its jurisdiction.

The decision to investigate Americans led to the Trump administration slapping sanctions on Bensouda, who has since left office. However, the probe was shelved after Afghan authorities asked to take over the case — known at the court as requesting deferral.

The ICC is a court of last resort, set up in 2002 to prosecute alleged atrocities in countries that cannot or will not bring perpetrators to justice — known as the principle of complementarity.

When Khan sought last year to reopen the court’s investigation, he said he now plans to focus on crimes committed by the Taliban and the Afghan affiliate of the Islamic State group, adding that he will “deprioritize” other aspects of the investigation.

On his decision to no longer prioritize other aspects of the probe, including allegations of crimes by Americans, Khan said last year that his office “will remain alive to its evidence preservation responsibilities, to the extent they arise, and promote accountability efforts within the framework of the principle of complementarity.”

Judges said in their decision Monday that their decision to authorize a resumption of the investigation covers all alleged crimes, meaning it could include allegations of crimes by U.S. personnel. However, it remains up to Khan to decide what allegations to investigate.

In 2016, before seeking authorization to open a full-scale investigation in Afghanistan, ICC prosecutors said that U.S. troops and the CIA may have tortured and mistreated people in detention facilities in Afghanistan, Poland, Romania and Lithuania.

Khan’s decision last year to no longer prioritize investigations into those allegations drew criticism from activists.

In response to Monday’s court decision, Patricia Gossman, the associate director for Asia at Human Rights Watch, said: “The International Criminal Court’s resumed investigation in Afghanistan should address serious crimes by all sides to the conflict, including U.S. forces, to bring justice even when the most powerful nations are involved.”

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Associated Press

Suspect arrested in fatal shooting at Houston home

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A 38-year-old man has been arrested in connection to a Thanksgiving day shooting at a Houston-area home that left two people dead and two wounded, according to the Houston Police Department. A man believed to be a former spouse of one of the victims entered the home through the back door […]
1 day ago
FILE - A Zimbabwe National Parks official inspects some of the elephant tusks during a tour of ivor...
Associated Press

Wildlife conference boosts protection for sharks, turtles

PANAMA CITY (AP) — An international wildlife conference moved to enact some of the most significant protection for shark species targeted in the fin trade and scores of turtles, lizards and frogs whose numbers are being decimated by the pet trade. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, known […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

NYPD officers, bystander save man who fell subway tracks

NEW YORK (AP) — Two New York City police officers and a bystander raced to save a man who fell on the tracks at a Manhattan subway station, plucking him out of the way of an oncoming train in a daring rescue captured by an officer’s body camera. The incident happened around 4 p.m. Thursday […]
1 day ago
FILE - This Oct. 3, 2016, photo, provided by the Martin County Sheriff's Office, shows Austin Harro...
Associated Press

Judge to decide on Florida face-biter insanity plea

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — A former college student who randomly killed a Florida couple in their garage six years ago and then chewed on one victim’s face finally goes on trial Monday, with a judge deciding whether he goes to prison for life or to a mental hospital. Austin Harrouff, 25, has pleaded not […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

‘Fame’ and ‘Flashdance’ singer-actor Irene Cara dies at 63

NEW YORK (AP) — Oscar, Golden Globe and two-time Grammy winning singer-actress Irene Cara, who starred and sang the title cut from the 1980 hit movie “Fame” and then belted out the era-defining hit “Flashdance … What a Feeling” from 1983’s “Flashdance,” has died. She was 63. Her publicist, Judith A. Moose, announced the news […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Ble Goude returns to Ivory Coast after 11 years in exile

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast (AP) — Former Youth Minister Charles Ble Goude, who was acquitted of crimes at the International Criminal Court, returned home Saturday to Ivory Coast after more than a decade of exile. He arrived in Abidjan on a commercial flight and made no comment at the airport, which was heavily guarded by police. […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.
ICC judges approve request to reopen Afghanistan probe